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  • Issue of
  • Oct 5-11, 2006
  • Vol. 1, No. 919

News

  • Thank Ya Very Much
  • Thank Ya Very Much

    Memphis magazine has received a national Ozzie Award for its July 2005 photo essay “Living Legend.” Photographed by Brad Jones, the feature captures the spirit of Elvis Presley as he revisits such favorite haunts as Graceland, Pop Tunes, Lauderdale Courts, and other local landmarks.

    Sponsored by Folio magazine, this year’s Ozzie Awards drew more than 2,200 entries from across America. Memphis won in the category of “Best Use of Photography — Consumer Publication Under 250,000 Circulation.”

    The awards will be presented October 22nd at the Folio Magazine Awards Gala in New York City.

  • Very Crafty
  • Very Crafty

    The Pink Palace Crafts Fair starts today and runs through Sunday. Now in its 36th year, the fair features all types of artisans working in wood, wax, glass, metal, fibers, and more. There's also live music, demonstrations, food, and other attractions.

    For more information, go here.

  • Cracking Down
  • Cracking Down

    Don’t expect a slap on the wrist. Expect to be watched. That was the message governor Phil Bredesen had today for youth convicted of gun crimes in Shelby County. He was joined by county mayor A.C. Wharton at the Neighborhood Christian Center on Jackson Avenue, where they announced a new initiative focusing on tougher penalties for violent youth. The program, made possible by a grant from the state government, would require certain juvenile offenders convicted of gun crimes to be monitored using high-tech ankle bracelets. The grant also allows for probationary counselors that would pop in at the offenders’ homes without prior notice.

  • Judge Dismisses Election Suit
  • Judge Dismisses Election Suit

    It took a while, but after hearing several days of testimony in the Shelby County election-challenge suit, special presiding judge Donald P. Harris of Franklin granted defendants' motion for dismissal in Chancery Court on Thursday, making happy four Republican clerks whose election was challenged by their Democratic opponents.
  • Tower Records to Leave Peabody Place
  • Tower Records to Leave Peabody Place

    After filing for Chapter 11 reorganization in August but unable to fix its financial woes, Tower Records is no more, according to a report in the Marin Independent Journal. The company was sold at a two-day auction for $150 million, and store closings and layoffs are beginning now. The company, with 89 stores across the nation, was in the red to creditors to the tune of $200,000 million, was bought by Trans World, the entertainment company that also recently acquired the Sam Goody music store chain. About 24 Tower locations are expected to close, including the Memphis location in Peabody Place.
  • More Gests
  • More Gests

    Music producer and sometime Memphian David Gest is planning to ring in the New Year with an All-Star Soul Spectacular in London. The inaugural event will include performances by Peabo Bryson, Bonnie Tyler, and Stax-man William Bell.

    The London radio station sponsoring the concerts is also giving listeners a chance to win a “David Gest luxury Hollywood holiday” in which “David’s bodyguard will personally take them to Universal Studios for the tour.”

    But if his bodyguard is with the winner, who will be protecting Gest from Liza?

  • Elvis Cup Guy Latest
  • Elvis Cup Guy Latest

    Let no one accuse Wade Jones, "The Elvis Cup Guy," of ever passing up an opportunity, however inane.

    Jones' claim to fame is styerfoam cup of water that he says Elvis took a sip from at one of his last concerts. Jones sold some of the water in an auction on eBay. Recently, he put up for auction a bagel he said looked like Mel Gibson.

    Now this: a corndog that looks like scandal-ridden congressman Mark Foley. (As a bonus, he's offering a photo of Foley and entertainer Wayne Newton.)

    We can't see the corndog's resemblance to Foley. See if you can here.

  • Catching Up With Craig Brewer
  • Catching Up With Craig Brewer

    With the release of his third feature film, Black Snake Moan, pushed to next February, local filmmaker Craig Brewer has spent his time setting up a production office in the South Main Arts District and working on several upcoming projects. Just days after sitting down with the Flyer, Brewer got the go-ahead to direct a bio-pic of black country star Charley Pride, with Hustle & Flow star Terrence Howard in the lead. With Brewer hosting an event this week to promote the Indie Memphis Film Festival, it seemed like a good time to catch up with Memphis’ most successful filmmaker — Chris Herrington

    (Click headline to read interview.)

  • An Odd Number
  • An Odd Number

    Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton this week announced that — somehow — the city had acquired a budget surplus of $31 million.

    Something about that particular figure seemed familiar to us, and sure enough, it seems to come up a lot in the news these days. Read all about it by clicking on the headline.

  • Latter-day Elvis?
  • Latter-day Elvis?

    At the time of his death, was Elvis Presley contemplating becoming a Mormon? Had he set a baptism date? And is a copy of the Book of Mormon now housed in the archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City the very Book of Mormon reputed to have been in Presley's bedroom the night he died?

    Yes on all three counts, according Rob Diamond, director, screenwriter, and co-producer of Tears of a King, a film now in production in Utah and set to be released on the 30th anniversary of Presley's death next August.

    And yes, if you can believe a story that recently appeared in the Deseret Morning News. Consider yourself warned: The complicated story involves Alan Osmond (of the Osmond Family); a Mormon missionary (Cricket Butler); Presley's father (Vernon); and Presley's karate coach and bodyguard (Ed Parker).

    According to Alan Osmond, "I did give the book to the LDS Church ... . This was for safety's sake, to protect Elvis' privacy and to preserve the sacredness of this book! Several people that knew I had it were too anxious to see it and touch it. So I put it in a very safe place — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [archives]."

    Diamond, for his part, says Tears of a King will be "entertaining and enlightening for all."

  • Fiery Crash Kills Four
  • Fiery Crash Kills Four

    Three people were dead on the scene from a fiery tractor-trailer crash early this morning at Lamar Avenue and Concorde. Five others were transported to an area hospital, where another victim later died.

    Officers from the Mt. Moriah police station responded to a crash involving two tractor-trailer rigs, one of which had caught on fire after the collision.

    Though an investigation is ongoing, police believe the wreck occurred when a big rig struck another stopped at a red light. Four victims remain in critical condition at the hospital. Identities of the victims are unknown.

  • Fire Destroys Historic Church and Court Square Buildings
  • Fire Destroys Historic Church and Court Square Buildings

    An early morning fire Friday gutted 116-year old First Methodist church and heavily damaged three vacant buildings next to Court Square that had been slated for a multi-million dollar renovation.

    No one was injured, but the cost to downtown’s image and rebuilding could be substantial. The fire made CNN, and the complex of three buildings in the center of the city was scheduled for a groundbreaking a week from today. The Lincoln-American Tower, Lowenstein Building and the Court Annex — collectively known as Court Square Center by developers have spent several years making plans and finding financing to renovate them — were in flames Friday morning, closing streets for hours and keeping some government buildings closed until 10 a.m.

    Read the rest of the story by clicking on the headline.

  • Ouch
  • Ouch

    You couldn’t make up this headline: “Flying Elvis Suffers Broken Pelvis.” But alas, it’s true, much to the dismay of Paul Moran, the member of the 10-member skydiving team that “misjudged” his landing at the grand opening of the Glacier Peaks Casino in Browning, Montana. “The Flying Elvi” are 10 Elvis impersonators who also skydive. But don’t worry, Paul seems to be doing just fine.

    Read all about it here.

  • Center City Commission on Downtown Fire
  • Center City Commission on Downtown Fire

    Center City Commission president Jeff Sanford has issued the following statement regarding this morning's devestating fire: "This is a major setback not only to the developers of the Court Square Center project, but to downtown's revitalization efforts around Court Square. We have all worked long and hard to help this project become a reality, and through it, to dramatically change the face of the Court Square neighborhood. And now this... We have spoken with the Court Square Center project developers and are assured that the property is more than adequately covered by insurance. We do not want to rush to judgment on the condition of the two remaining buildings, but we will just have to see what can rise up out of these ashes. The loss of the historic First Church building is sad to say the least. But, knowing the spirit of its pastor and congregation, they will build back stronger than ever. The most positive thing is that apparently there has been no loss of life."
  • Singer's Shooter gets 36 Years
  • Singer's Shooter gets 36 Years

    The man who shot singer Marc Cohn last year during a carjacking in Denver was sentenced to 36 years for attempted murder. Cohn is best known for his 1991 hit "Walking in Memphis," but he did not deserve to get shot in the head for it. Read all about it here.
  • D.A.'s 2005 Report
  • D.A.'s 2005 Report

    The Shelby County District Attorney's office released its 2005 Annual Report, which can be downloaded here.

    Among the findings is that the number of reported crimes involving a firearm increased from 2004 to 2005 and that the number of juveniles prosecuted for violent crimes rose sharply during that period.

  • Memphis Coke Bust
  • Memphis Coke Bust

    The West Tennessee Violent Crime and Drug Task Force has announced the arrest of Kevin V. Taylor, who's been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver and being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. Taylor was found with 57 pounds of cocaine with an estimated street value of $700,000.
  • The Memphis Fire From Next Door
  • The Memphis Fire From Next Door

    Memphis Flyer reader Elizabeth Funderburk got a startling and somewhat frightening view of Thursday night's downtown fire from her condo balcony. For more Memphis fire photos, click the headline.

We Recommend

Politics

  • Matters of State: Bredesen and Bryson Debate the Governorship
  • Matters of State: Bredesen and Bryson Debate the Governorship

    Governor Phil Bredesen, the Democratic incumbent, and Republican challenger Jim Bryson struck a note or two of political role reversal in a League of Women Voters-sponsored debate on WKNO-TV Sunday afternoon. Bredesen, seemingly on the road to recovery after his debilitating bout with a mystery illness, expressed pride in the business-like accomplishments of his first term, while Bryson lamented the contraction of the TennCare health-insurance program and called for eliminating the sales tax on groceries. The two disagreed most obviously on the medical malpractice issue and, of course, on the matter of whether Bredesen had earned the rights to a second term. (For complete story, go to "Political Beat".)
  • Ninth District Candidates Cohen, Ford, and White Debate on TV
  • Ninth District Candidates Cohen, Ford, and White Debate on TV

    The strategies of the three candidates for Congress in the 9th District were evident right out of the block in their first TV debate Sunday night at WREG-TV, News Channel 3. “Independent Democrat” Jake Ford, first up, characterized himself as a champion of “working-wage Americans.” Next, primary winner Steve Cohen expressed solidarity to his fellow Democrats for conferring the party’s nomination on him and promised he would “never turn…my back” on them. Finally, Republican Mark White argued for a “coming together” of “new people, new blood” to create a new political reality in the traditionally Democratic inner-city district. Thereafter, the genial White became something of a bystander as favored veteran Cohen and newcomer Ford scrapped for bragging rights. (For complete story, go to "Political Beat".)
  • Ford-Corker Senate Debate: Close but No Cigar (Yet)
  • Ford-Corker Senate Debate: Close but No Cigar (Yet)

    The first televised senatorial debate is in the can, and while both candidates – Democrat Harold Ford and Republican Bob Corker – continued to hew to the same centrist (or mildly rightist) themes during their statewide TV broadcast from WREG-TV, News Channel 3, it was arguably possible to choose between them on style points.

    (For the complete story, go to "Political Beat".)

  • Shades of O.J. and <i>Time</i>: Dark Deeds  in the Corker-Ford Race
  • Shades of O.J. and Time: Dark Deeds in the Corker-Ford Race

    We'll let this item (from Rick Maynard's The Freedonian blog) speak for itself: “'They have darkened Harold Ford’s image to make a racist statement,'” Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke told the Knoxville News Sentinel in reference to the photograph of Representative Harold Ford Jr. (TN-9) used in a recent piece of direct mail distributed by the Tennessee Republican Party on behalf of the Bob Corker Senate campaign....The campaign literature features a very dark image...an edited version of a photograph [that] can be found on Rep. Ford’s congressional website."
  • Herenton Endorses Ford; Cohen Gets Nod from Bredesen, Chism
  • Herenton Endorses Ford; Cohen Gets Nod from Bredesen, Chism

    They didn’t exactly jump through burning hoops or shout “Hallelelujah!” to do so, but three prominent politicians who had been regarded in some quarters as possible holdouts made their election-day preferences known on Friday in the cases of senatorial candidate Harold Ford Jr., and congressional candidate Steve Cohen.

    Ford got a boost from a longtime rival of the larger Ford political clan, Memphis mayor Willie Herenton, who was one of the attendees at a Ford-sponsored prayer breakfast held at The Peabody. Meanwhile, Cohen, the Democratic state senator and from Midtown and Democratic nominee for the 9th Congressional District, got a stamp of approval from Governor Phil Bredesen and from former interim state senator and current Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism. (For the complete story, go to "Political Beat".)

  • It's Debatable
  • It's Debatable

    Mpact Memphis is hosting two political debates this weekend to be aired live by Channel 3, and you're invited to be part of the audience and to submit questions. But you must sign up now.

    On Saturday at 7 p.m., senate candidates Harold Ford Jr. and Bob Corker will debate, and on Sunday at 7 p.m. it will be congressional candidates Jake Ford, Steve Cohen, and Mark White.

    To register, go here.

Opinion

  • Letter from the Editor

    Last week the president of the United States paid a visit to our fair city to attend a fund-raiser for senatorial candidate Bob Corker ...

Music

  • Hold Steady at the Hi-Tone
  • Hold Steady at the Hi-Tone

    Is Brooklyn-based bar band The Hold Steady America’s finest current rock band? Some think so, and you can decide for yourself tonight when they make their Memphis debut at the Hi-Tone Café, alongside hard-rocking local openers The Secret Service. For more of this often revered, occasionally reviled band, see the Flyer’s story this week here and a long piece in last Sunday’s New York Times here.

Film/TV

Books

  • Tom Wolfe Finds Jesus in Tennessee
  • Tom Wolfe Finds Jesus in Tennessee

    Seems that author Tom Wolfe found a lot of Jesus-lovin' folks during a recent visit to Tennessee. This "jarring scene" apparently amazed the white-suited dandy enough to provoke him to offer some serious advice to writers across the country. From the New York Post. ...
  • The Nobel: A Beginner's Guide
  • The Nobel: A Beginner's Guide

    Americans Andrew Fire and Craig Mello just learned that they've won the 2006 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine, so where does that leave immunologist Peter Doherty? Still dividing his time between the University of Melbourne in Australia and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis after winning the Nobel in medicine in 1996 (along with Rolf Zinkernagel).

    1996 to 2006 ... that's enough time to author a book, and Doherty has: The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize (Columbia University Press). It's a memoir, but it's also an argument for the proper role of science in education and society and an argument against its improper use by corporations, governments, and religious leaders.

    And what's one way to win a Nobel? A good upbringing, a good public-school education, and some good pig wrestling. As a veterinary scientist researching animal diseases, it worked for Doherty.

  • Michael Lewis at Square Books
  • Michael Lewis at Square Books

    Author Michael Lewis will be at Square Books in Oxford Friday to sign copies of The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, which tells the story of Michael Oher, a black Memphis teen who went from enduring the bleakest of circumstances to having the brightest of futures in football. Oher now plays at Ole Miss, and the book has been optioned for a movie.

    Before the signing, Lewis will be attending the Ole Miss homecoming pep rally. He'll be at Square books around 6 or 6:30 p.m.

Food & Drink

  • Jim's Place East, Even Eastier
  • Jim's Place East, Even Eastier

    Jim's Place East, now celebrating its 85th year in the restaurant business, is expanding. Jim's Place Grille is scheduled to open this month at 3660 Houston-Levee Rd. in Collierville.

    The new restaurant's menu will be similar to Jim's Place East with some additions such as the flaming saganaki.

Sports

  • McEnroe Meltdown in Memphis
  • McEnroe Meltdown in Memphis

    John McEnroe, one of the greatest tennis players in history, had an on-court meltdown in Memphis that nearly cost him an eye. In a losing match with Wayne Ferriera in the Stanford Championships, a seniors event at the Racquet Club, McEnroe bent over and smashed a ball on the court in anger during the tiebreaker after the players had split the first two sets. The ball bounced up and hit McEnroe in the face, either on or near his eye. He remained bent over for about a minute holding his eye as the crowd hushed and Ferriera walked around to McEnroe’s side of the court to see if he was all right. For all the flashes of his famous temper, McEnroe also demonstrated the brilliance that made him the number-one player in the world for part of the 1980s.

  • New Griz Owner Brian Davis Gets Some Ink
  • New Griz Owner Brian Davis Gets Some Ink

    "Thirty-six-year-old Brian Davis walks down Beale Street like he owns the place. Which, of course, he doesn't. Yet.

    "So far all he's done is make a down payment to buy the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. It is unclear whether it is Davis who is drawn to the people here or vice versa.

    "As he strolls the historic district on a Sunday morning, he's greeted by a minister, a musician, shopkeepers and even the homeless. Servers at the King's Palace Café take his picture as he sips orange juice. Rarecas Bonds shouts to him from across the street, and the two hug."

    You can read the rest of USA Today's take on Davis here.

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